FASS Faculty Member Selim Birsel's exhibition: Culture Physique

“kültür fizik” - “culture physique”

16 january – 20 february 2010

The founders of the Turkish Republic in 1923 explained the foundation of the new regime as culture. And within the new government culture had an extremely broad meaning. On the one hand they said it belonged to everyone who lived in Anatolia, all the civilizations that had come and gone, while on the other hand the roots of culture were being traced back toCentral Asia. At the same time the new government had turned its face to the West, and the classical-humanistic-canonical European culture was being accepted in its totality as the basis for the new regime, which came from a different tradition.

But all this did not define the limits of culture. A new culture was sought for the physique as well, and starting in the 1930s physical culture became not only a fixture of school curriculums but a part of life itself, for being healthy and sound was a principle espoused by the new regime. Women and men, girls and boys, they all did physical culture in the parks, in gardens and on the squares as they sought to make the new regime stronger.

Even buildings and other spaces were designed according to this logic, as the new architecture took shape according to a ‘healthy, sound’ culture. Light, sterilization, ease – they were features of the mind, but equally of buildings and open areas.

Through varying stages of evolution, this phenomenon has continued in Turkey, which today too is marked by a quest for physical culture. Today as well, there is an effort in Turkey to bring a new physique to bear in approaching rigid cultural views, preconditions and conditioning. And Turkey today also is striving to establish a new architecture.

Let’s see how our artists will look at and approach this long, adventuresome history. How will they bring together culture and the physique?

Participating artists are;

Filiz Başaran, Selim Birsel, Bayram Candan, Sakine Çil, Şakir Gökçebağ, Aslımay Altay Göney, Güler Güngör, Kurucu Koçanoğlu, Komet, Raziye Kubat, Suzy Hug Levy, Yıldız Şermet, Mürüvvet Türkyılmaz, Y. Bahadır Yıldız


© 2018 Sabancı University